This above site logically proves that Time Dilation is a hokum. But we all know it's real. It is well-proven in GPS satellites.

I can't find what's wrong with their explanation in the site. What am I missing?


closed as off-topic by valerio, knzhou, Kyle Kanos, David Z Jan 15 '18 at 22:26

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "We deal with mainstream physics here. Questions about the general correctness of unpublished personal theories are off topic, although specific questions evaluating new theories in the context of established science are usually allowed. For more information, see Is non mainstream physics appropriate for this site?." – valerio, knzhou, David Z
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    $\begingroup$ I briefly put this on hold because I think a question that just presents some unpublished hypothesis and asks us to review it (e.g. asking what's wrong with it) should be off topic as non-mainstream and/or too broad. But after checking on meta I'm not so sure... I still think this sort of thing should be off topic but I'm not confident enough to unilaterally put it on hold. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 15 '18 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Sorry, but why the doubts? This is clearly non-mainstream, and it is clearly stated on meta that we don't accept non-mainstream physics here. $\endgroup$ – valerio Jan 15 '18 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ @valerio92 That's what I thought at first, but the meta post says that questions asking to evaluate non-mainstream proposals in the context of mainstream physics are OK. Arguably, this could fit that description, and that's why I'm not sure enough about the judgment to unilaterally put the question on hold. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 15 '18 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ This is a "read this link and tell me what you think" type question which seems to me should be off topic as unclear what you're asking. Questions should be self-contained and not require anyone to jump off the site to understand what the question really is. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jan 15 '18 at 21:50
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    $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos You didn't already have your alternativephysics.org home page opened to this article? $\endgroup$ – JMac Jan 15 '18 at 22:34

The problem is that the author does not understand relativity well enough to argue that it is inconsistent. In all of his examples, he goes back and forth between reference frames without accounting for all of the relativistic effects. In effect, all he's proven is that a partial theory of relativity is inconsistent.

The easiest place to see this is in Part 6 of his Relativity Challenge. In it, two spaceships approach a light source from opposite directions such that they are always equally distant from it. The light source sends out a pulse that hits both ships when they are one light-hour away from the source. Both ships start their clocks when they receive the light pulse. When they meet, they compare times. Since the problem is symmetrical, they should both record the same time.

But wait! Shouldn't ship A record a longer time than ship B? From A's perspective, B's clock is running slow. And vice versa.

So as the spaceships move together, they can each say the other ship’s clock is running more slowly than its own. This creates an inevitable dilemma. Because at some point the spaceships are going to pass each other, where the flashbulb is. At this point they will stop their clocks and make a comparison. If the time dilation being described was real rather than a perception, this requires that each clock must show more elapsed time than the other!

As this is not going to be possible, and since motion-based time dilation is non-directional, we must likewise reject the notion that the clocks in the original situation were each running slower or each running faster than the other.

He forgets one important fact: the ships receiving the light pulses are only simultaneous events in the light source's reference frame. They are not simultaneous events in the reference frames of the rocket ships. Each rocket ship will observe the other ship's clock running slow, but they will each have recorded the same amount of time at the meeting point because they didn't start their clocks at the same time (from the other ship's reference frame). This is analogous to Einstein's lightning-bolts-striking-a-train thought experiment.

I'm not reading any more of this since his textbook is littered with insulting language. For one example:

But relativists are not known for thinking, only for reciting theories.

To which, I say "meh." I need to get back to my particle accelerators.

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    $\begingroup$ It's funny how much people misinterpret theories then use their bad interpretations to assert that the theory is nonsense. For example, on his page:"Conclusion: SR proponents would have us believe that the fountain of youth awaits us inside a high speed rocket ship, or on a lifetime of non-stop jet travel, if only we can make them fast enough. Nice if it were true." I got a good chuckle there. He manages to completely disregard how people would experience the "slow" passage of time. It's really easy to say things make no sense when you don't even bother to try understanding them. $\endgroup$ – JMac Jan 15 '18 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac It's very common. You can see the same thing play out in anti-evolution and flat-earth arguments. It always gives me a long moment of pause when I consider how deep their misconceptions are and how much writing it will take to explain, for example, what the second law of thermodynamics actually says. $\endgroup$ – Mark H Jan 15 '18 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it's pretty bad. I always want to start diving into the argument; but then they keep saying crazier and crazier stuff. Usually after a minute or two it becomes pretty clear that anything you tell them will just become another phrase for them to take out of context and misinterpret. Pretty funny though that people think there's so much of a conspiracy that scientists are willing to somehow falsify verifiable information. Always some looming evil so that the believers can feel like they know something special and everyone else is a sheep. $\endgroup$ – JMac Jan 15 '18 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac The author does score highly on the crackpot index: math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html $\endgroup$ – Mark H Jan 16 '18 at 1:31
  • $\begingroup$ It's also funny that people think we could be so wrong about relativity and yet our (very much relativistic) particle accelerators would still work totally fine. $\endgroup$ – Chris Jan 16 '18 at 1:43

It fails off the bat by not understanding Minkowski Space, complaining that 2 observers in relative (duh) motion will both see each other's clock moving slower, thereby declaring $A>B$ and $B>A$--a logical tautology--hence SR must be wrong.

Of course, both do see each other's clock moving slower, and this website's reasoning is the logical equivalent to saying: Euclidean geometry is wrong because 2 drivers passing on opposite sides of the highway both declare the other to have a large "Left" coordinate than the themself--hence $A>B$ and $B>A$....

And then it gets worse from there.


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